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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Health and Safety at Work

Construction is still booming at least in the domestic market. Our street is ripe for development with lots of empty plots still up for grabs. The opening of the new bridge to District 1 has made the area even more popular and buildings are springing up all over the place.

Women play a large part in the construction industry, marigolds are the safety handwear of choice.

Piledriving is for men

in flip flops. This worker is unusual in that he is wearing an actual hard hat instead of a motorbike helmet.

As yet our house still sits surrounded by empty land, well not exactly empty, the spare plots have been turned to very productive use, but it will only be a matter of time before we too can enjoy the delicate sounds of hammering and metal grinding on the other side of the walls at 6am.

I just agreed on the lease for another year. I'd better enjoy the relative peace and quiet while I still can.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Dragon Fruit

Continuing on the fruit trail. The fruit of the day is Dragon Fruit. I hadn't tried this before coming to Vietnam but it's one of my favourites now, it has a slight Kiwi fruit taste but it's the look and texture that I go a bundle for.

Dragon fruit halved

This one cost 50p or 78 us cents at the current exchange rate

Dragon fruit sliced
but it was a particularly big one.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bird smuggler

A man has been charged with smuggling songbirds into the United States by hiding more than a dozen of them in an elaborate, custom-made pair of leggings during a flight from Vietnam to Los Angeles.

Sony Dong, 46, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March after an inspector spotted bird feathers and droppings on his socks and tail feathers peeking out from under his trousers.

The rare songbirds sell for $10 to $30 (£6.60 to £20) in Vietnam but can fetch as much as $400 (£265).

Mr Dong had three red-whiskered bul-buls, four magpie robins and six shama thrush under his trousers.

Full story

Friday, 8 May 2009

Bacuit Archipelago, Philippines

Following on from an earlier post here are some more pictures of the trip to Palawan. I'm taking a very close interest in the Philippines' weather patterns so I can plan a return trip.

Alfresco lunch
The best meal we had during the entire trip.
Rock harvesting
Rock harvesting, part of the beach beautification project outside Four Seasons Resort (I don't think the other Four Seasons knows about this one)
A bird and a fish
Post lunch entertainment, watching the palm fish and bird bob in the light breeze.
Beach with wow factor
A beach so lovely it barely seems real.
Like Halong but nicer
This is the same type of geographical feature seen in Halong bay, it might be even nicer in El Nido but I can only judge on that after I "do" Halong.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Manila Bags

It's indicative of the economy of the Philippines that Pawnshops flourish. It's indicative of the craze for stupidly big and overpriced handbags that this one in the central business district seemed to be doing brisk business.

Designer Bag Pawnshop, Makati, Manila

Friday, 1 May 2009

Mangoes for Mayday

In what's turning into a mini thread of fruit related postings I present The Mango. A friend brought us some from her family's garden in the Delta and they were the sweetest and most perfumed I've ever eaten.

Fruit here is excellent, there are a lot of imports available but the locally grown produce is seasonal and unpredictable and all the better for that. A million miles away from the supermarket "every apple is identical" stuff I got so frustrated with in the UK.

On a fairly unrelated point, here's what greets arrivals at Tan Son Nhat airport:

Not Tesco but it looks close enough to make me look twice each time I see it. I think we're safe from them at the moment, Lottemart has corned the market in foreign owned supermarkets so far.